The 12-Step Program that has helped millions of people with out of control addictions was developed in 1935. Each step revolves around balancing the mind, body, and spirit while acknowledging a Higher Power in the world. For some this may be God, for others this may be a Being or a Spirit.
12 Step Programs are beneficial not just for those working through addictions: the practice can be applied anywhere in your life! Here, discover the basics of a 12 Step Program and also check out Hollywood Hills Recovery for more personalized information.
1. Admit Powerlessness
The first step to any kind of recovery with this program is to admit that life is out of control. Realizing that it is okay to be powerless against something is difficult but important to the process. To move forward, you have to acknowledge the past and how it affected you, and others.
2. Restore Sanity
Restoring sanity isn’t something that can always be done alone: here, individuality breaks down to leaning on others. To lean on others, you also have to lean on a higher spiritual power. Part of gaining sanity is reorienting yourself spiritually which is the biggest part of this step.
3. Turn Over
Self-sufficiency and not asking for help are still being dealt with in this step. Instead of reorienting, this step goes further and works on turning over all desires to the entity of your choice. This means that you realign your life goals with your spiritual orientation.
4. Make a Moral Inventory
This one is a doozy …
One of the hardest things to do is look deep within yourself and truly assess who you are. What morals do you truly align with? What aspects of yourself do you want to work on? Lean into the self-reflection on this step and thoroughly dive into your behaviors and actions.
Yet another hard step, number five, is admitting to yourself, spiritual entity and one other person that you have done something wrong. Someone you trust that knows the situation is a great way to take this step.
6. Prepare for Growth
Time to batten the hatches and dig in hard: growth is a stressful but necessary step and if you don’t prepare for it, it’s even harder. Prepare to take action, work on rebellious attitudes, and go beyond your previously limited goals.
7. Attitude Change
Outward expression of what is going on internally is just as important as doing the work. Here, your outward expression, or attitude, has to adjust to one of humility and understanding. This isn’t belittling yourself for someone else, but instead using failure as a humbling experience and developing your weaknesses into strengths.
8. Make a List
Steps eight and nine relate to how something affected the people around you. Write down every name of every person that you know and think might have been affected by your addiction or condition.
9. Make Amends
Nine is the conclusion of step eight. It’s time to take that list and reach out to everyone on said list and apologize to them. Here, responsibility and dealing with consequences may take quite a bit of time. Be prepared to hold strong!
10. Check Personal Inventory
The second check in on the inventory is going to hone in more on emotional balance and mindfulness. The big question at this point is can you get through all moments without the thing that has helped you?
11. Increase Spiritual Connection
This is a great time to try out different types of meditation, prayer, mindfulness and so on. The basics have already been taught and it is time to settle the foundation of self-examination and meditation.
12. Continue the Practice of Mindfulness and Spiritual Growth
According to the founders of the twelve step program, prioritizing spiritual connections and growth leads to a better life. Remain mindful of those around you and help where and when you can. Remember, find joy wherever you can and continue to enjoy life.
In the original AA book, many of the phrasings relate to the Christian Faith. One of the tenets of AA is that people don’t have to accept or adopt the Christian Faith, but instead apply the lessons to their own faith.
Many people have successfully completed the twelve step program and continued remission or completely recovered. Regardless of religious background, the steps work because they reorient you to mindfulness and a focus on human connection and spiritual development.
Try out the 12 steps in your personal life and see how you are able to adjust to the new experiences!